Running in the Winter.
Winter can be a tough time to get a run or walk in. In this article I'll share with you a few ways to get out the door and make your winter run more comfortable and more safe.
The First Step is the Hardest.
In the cold weather sometimes the toughest part of the run is the first step. I find it super helpful to get out the door when I have someone to meet. Setting up runs or walks with friends or finding a group run to hook up with can be a great way to get yourself out the door. There are many groups to join and a lot meet up different nights of the week. You could meet up with the Tuesday Night Turtles on Tuesday evenings or come down to Rhode Runner Wednesday's at 6pm or Sunday's at 8am. Either way having someone to meet or somewhere to be can be a great motivator!
Knowing you'll be comfortable no matter the temps can be another big help to get you out the door. We suggest dressing for 20 degrees warmer than it is outside. So if it's 30 degrees out dress like you would if you were just hanging out in 50 degree weather. You'll warm up during the run and won't overheat. Steer clear of cotton as well, cotton absorbs moisture and holds on to it there's nothing worse than a cold breeze hitting a wet shirt. A polyester or wool blend will pull moisture from the skin quicker to keep you warm and dry.
We also suggest dressing in layers - A baselayer, a 1/2 zip and a shell jacket are three key pieces to invest in for your upper body. The baselayer will sit right next to the skin and the 1/2 zip will go right over top on those colder days. On the windy/rainy days throw the shell jacket on to shield yourself from the wind and rain. For the legs we again suggest steering clear of cotton and tights will always be a little warmer than pants. When investing in some good apparel be sure to try each piece on. Every brand fits differently, and these will last a very long time so getting something that's comfortable is super important.
When you run in the winter the MOST IMPORTANT thing is to stay safe. It gets dark and you need to be seen. This is the time of the year you can get away with dressing like you're in the eighties! Lots of bright colors and blinking lights are essential to keeping you safe during those early morning and late evening runs. We get asked all the time for tips to stay safe and one that we always emphasize is to run facing traffic. You'll be more visible and most importantly you'll be able to see whats coming. Another great tip is to avoid listening to music during those darker runs, you want to be able to use all your senses when out there, if you can't see something you want to be sure you can hear it.
The winter is one of my favorite times to run. I enjoy it way more than slogging through a long run in August thats for sure. Use a few of these tips above and you'll enjoy it too!